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First Gen. Staff Initiative – First Gen. Story by Director Kim Ayala

Thursday, Dec 6, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

My UCI first gen story - Kimberly Ayala
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My UCI First Gen Story

Free & Open to Campus!

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Location: Division of Career Pathways

(100 Student Services 1)

Please join us for a special event with Kimberly Ayala, the Director of Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising at the University of California, Irvine. Kimberly will discuss her career journey and experiences navigating the professional world. She will provide advice for professional staff, along with tips for supporting first-generation students.

Kimberly Ayala, Director, Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising

Kimberly completed her B.A in Psychology at UCI in 1982 and earned her Teaching Credential in 1984. She was born and raised in Pasadena, California in a low-income household with her parents and a younger brother. Her primary caregiver was her grandma.

She was the first in her immediate and extended family to attend college. Her male high school counselor discouraged her from applying to colleges by saying, “People like you (Mexican-Americans) don’t go to college.” She applied anyway and was admitted. Once here at UCI, she was afraid he might have been right. Her first quarter, her courses were challenging, and she felt alone and overwhelmed; she didn’t want to return for Winter Quarter. It just took one connection to the Early Academic Outreach Office to change her mind. During the first quarter of her freshman year she made friends, met mentors, and not only succeeded, but thrived!

She had a life-changing experience while being an undergraduate “Anteater,” and that was to study abroad. She had the opportunity to travel the circumference of the world by ship, while studying, through a program called Semester At Sea. The summer after graduation, she chose to study abroad a second time in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, where she met her future husband.

The First Generation Staff Association is a UCI staff organization that includes members that identify or advocate for first generation college students and commit to fostering a community of inclusive support, share professional development opportunities and commit to the advancement of first generation students.

If you are a First Generation Staff Member and are interested in receiving more information about the First Generation Staff Association, please contact Joanna Hernandez at joannmh1@uci.edu.

If you would like to be added to the First Generation Staff Initiative mailing list, please click here.



Thursday, Dec 6, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm